Temple football coach Geoff Collins isn’t one to complain every game about the officials, but he was clearly agitated after Saturday’s 20-13 loss to visiting Houston that dropped the Owls to 2-3 overall and 0-2 in the American Athletic Conference.
He sent clips of several plays to the AAC office to get a clarification on the rulings. Collins confirmed during Tuesday’s press conference that the AAC had told him that linebacker Shaun Bradley should not have been ejected for targeting. The call came with 14 seconds left in the first quarter.
“I knew he wouldn’t do anything that would be malicious, and the league did agree with that one,” Collins said.
Collins wouldn’t elaborate on how many calls the league said were erroneous, but a source said that Temple sent 18 plays and that the AAC said five of them were wrong calls. Included was a 30-yard reception by Keith Kirkwood that would have given Temple a first down at the Houston 6 in the second quarter. It was originally ruled a reception but then overturned. Temple’s Logan Marchi threw an interception on the next play.
Bradley on the call
Bradley didn’t think he should have been called for targeting receiver Linell Bonner. After the game, Bonner, who had dropped a pass on the play, said that he wasn’t hurt and that he told Bradley it was a nice hit.
“That is exactly what he told me, ‘Nice hit,’ ” Bradley said. “I told him I would have hit him a little harder if he caught it.”
Collins usually doesn’t discuss injuries but mentioned that defensive back Cequan Jefferson, running back Jager Gardner and placekicker Austin Jones are likely to be out for a while with unspecified injuries. The Inquirer and Daily News reported last week that Gardner is likely out for the season.
Collins was still hopeful that two other players who missed last week because of injuries — starting left guard Jovahn Fair and linebacker Jeremiah Atoki — could return this week, but they have yet to be listed among the players who are ready to play and can see game action.
Temple will visit East Carolina (1-4, 1-1) for a noon game Saturday.
Austin Jones update
In the sixth game last year, kicker Austin Jones tore his left anterior cruciate ligament on a kickoff return against Memphis. He made it back for this year’s opening game at Notre Dame and played in the first four matchups. Jones was the short-distance placekicker, and Aaron Boumerhi handled kickoffs and long field goals.
Saturday, Boumerhi did all the kicking, including a successful 29-yard field goal.
There have been rumors that Jones might sit out the rest of the year and apply for a redshirt season, which he would neither confirm nor deny. Jones says at this point he doesn’t know if he will be back this year.
“My knee, my whole body isn’t 100 percent yet, so I have been kind of rehabbing constantly,” he said after Tuesday’s practice. “I am trying to get back to 100 percent healthy.”
When asked if he would consider applying for a medical redshirt, Jones said, “I am not even thinking about that now. I am focusing on getting back to 100 percent.”
This week’s No. 1 uniform for toughness and dedication was awarded to starting cornerback Mike Jones, a graduate transfer from North Carolina Central, who had six tackles, two tackles for loss and one pass breakup and added 69 yards on three kickoff returns Saturday.
“He had to get stitches in his mouth during the game, had a busted lip, and there were some really violent shots taken on both sides of the ball during the game,” Collins said. “He fought through that and was not willing to come out of the game because he cared so much for his teammates and this university.”